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1 month old pekin obsessed with food

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Mango613, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. Mango613

    Mango613 Just Hatched

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    I have a 1 month old pekin who has suddenly become a ravenous eating machine. He's a big guy but yesterday morning he ate until his crop was huge and then lay down to digest. Every time I put more food in he eats it until it is gone. He is a house duck and normally follows me around but yesterday and today as long as I am within site he just lays by the food and water area. He is pooping and chatting like normal but the ravenous food consumption is new. A couple of changes over the last 4-5 days
    1. I did add some grower pellets to his started crumble yesterday to get him used to a new food over the next few weeks.
    2. I started to reduce the food he gets at night. He is huge, is not a meat bird and I would like to keep him from becoming humongous in 10 weeks. He gets all the food he wants during the day but I leave a smaller portion at night.
    3. His feathers have started to come in. I would imagine that takes extra calories
    4. 1 week ago I started pre soaking his food for a few hours as it has some full grains mixed in and he wasn't eating them. I add a sag of ACV to the water of the soaking.
    5. He has been getting grit free choice since I added the scratch type diet to his crumbled. He did not react this way when I added the scratch to his meals and has been fine with it. He gets ACV in his water when I remember so that is not new either.

    Yesterday he ate until he didn't want to stand up. Should I ration out his food? Wait for the grower pellets? Leave more food at night? I don't know bird behaviour well and worry I am creating an eating machine without realizing it :)


    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  2. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    I believe what you are seeing is normal. Those new feathers require a lot of extra calories and feed to grow. He will ration himself back out over the next few weeks. Ducks are pigs. They eat you put of house and home.
     
  3. Mango613

    Mango613 Just Hatched

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    LOL I figured but lord yesterday he was moaning he ate so much. I am a vet tech and desperately want to offer him the best for best health and longevity. I never knew I could bond this strongly with a bird, let alone a duck. My dogs love him, my family loves him. He is people and loves the attention but I want to be sure that I don't throw people or dogs expectations on him without realizing it. I would never allow a young dog to eat like this. How do you gauge a duck's weight? What visual cues would tell you that he is carrying too much? Thanks for your input. I feel better :)
     
  4. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    The main visual cue is if they start having problems walking or leg issues. Pekins do get heavy and tend to do so quickly. You can limit feed some but I wouldn't during times of feather growth.
     
  5. Mango613

    Mango613 Just Hatched

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    So despite the fact that he is gorging I should let him eat his fill? Any idea how long the new feather starving for food period may last?
     
  6. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    Usually a couple weeks and they slow back down. During the 4 to 13 week period they are constantly losing and gaining new feathers. Typically 5, 7, and 13 weeks are the worst. I would let him eat his fill unless you start seeing issues.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    If anything, I might give a little more food overnight... just try it for a few nights. Sometimes ducklings will gorge if they get too hungry.

    And I agree, Pekins can put on too much weight too fast sometimes, and that's rough on their legs.

    Do you give any leafy green vegetables or other fresh veg? Wondering if more fiber in the diet might help. A little bit of chopped rolled oats (not instant), maybe? I added some oats to my Runners' food, mostly to reduce protein percentage, but it does have fiber in it.

    Those are my thoughts. Please keep us posted!
     
  8. purslanegarden

    purslanegarden Out Of The Brooder

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    An important detail that you haven't mentioned is, what are you feeding the duck? You have mentioned crumbles and pellets, but which type of feed, specifically? I didn't add scratch grains to my ducks until they were a few months old. Prior to that, they had flock raiser crumbles and seemed to eat reasonable amounts. (I know it's not the same variety of duck, though).

    Although the duck will eat what you put out, but that's kind of up to you, on how much you put out.
     

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